Monday, January 17, 2011

It's My Party

This weekend we celebrated Sweet Pea's birthday.  I think that I've posted before about how I like to try to make a big deal out of my kids' birthdays.  It isn't so much because I think they need a party (and they certainly don't need any more toys).   I just feel like we should celebrate now, because there will be years and years of birthdays when they are in school or working or just generally doing something other than celebrating themselves.  So I try to capitalize on the now and take advantage of their love for all things that involve cake, presents and singing.  And we spend a day celebrating them. 

The only problem with my birthday celebrations is work.  When the kids' birthdays fall on a weekday, it gets terribly difficult to do the little things I want to do to make their day special.  We generally don't celebrate the kids' birthdays with parties (first birthdays a notable exception).  Again, I figure there will be plenty of time for that in the future.  Instead, we try to make the day special just around our own little house.  I decorate the house.  I buy the birthday boy or girl a special balloon.  I make a special breakfast.  I make whatever the birthday kid wants for dinner.  And, of course, we have cake.  But on weekdays this is almost impossible to do.  So we celebrate on the weekend. 

But I sort of hate celebrating on the weekend.  While it gives us a clear, full day to celebrate the birthday boy or girl, it feels like we're sort of cheating the actual day a bit.  Of course, on the actual birthday we bring treats to school, sing "happy birthday" and have a less labor intensive special dinner (hello Old McDonalds). But it isn't an entire day devoted to the birthday kid.  We still go to school or work.  We still do all of the things we would do on any other day of the year.  The day just doesn't capture the specialness that it should. 

I wish there was a clear way to show each of my kids how important their birthdays are to us.  How each year their one, special day brings back a flood of memories - of how much we longed for a baby, how I was so sure Sweet Pea would be a boy, how I felt the moment each of them was placed in my arms.  How I loved each of them long before they were born.  And how love was completely redefined the moment I held each of them.  But there's nothing I could do that would ever capture that.  Those memories are left for my heart. 

 But we do the best we can.  I know how lucky we are to get to celebrate another year with our birthday girl.  How blessed I am to have her to celebrate.  So while work might not allow me to capture all of the specialness of her birth on the actual day, I'll continue to celebrate her on the weekend.  And from the looks of Sweet Pea's post-party crash, we did a pretty good job of that this weekend:

Let's just hope this picture isn't a preview of Sweet Pea's college years. 

Happy second birthday Sweet Pea!  We love you!


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